LAHORE– Gohar Ejaz, Patron in Chief APTMA, addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Association, has vowed to achieve the current year’s lofty textile export target of US$ 21 Billion with full support from the Government, uninterrupted and incessant supply of energy to the textile mills at Regionally Competitive tariffs and availability of cotton and other inputs.
Earlier Mohammad Raza Baqir, Secretary General and Executive Director APTMA, announced the results on behalf of Election Commission. According to the results announced by him, Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir has been elected as Central Chairman APTMA along with Mr. Muhammad Jameel Qasim as Senior Vice Chairman and Mr. Atta Shafi Tanvir Sheikh as Vice Chairman. While in zonal elections, Mr. Hamid Zaman has been elected as Chairman, Mr. Kamran Arshad as Senior Vice Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Anees Khawaja as Vice Chairman and Mr. Asad Shafi as Treasurer of the Northern Zone.
Talking on this occasion, Mr. Gohar Ejaz strongly opposed the move of imposing Regulatory Duty on the export of cotton yarn on the ground that it would not only distort the momentum gained in exports after decades but will also disturb the continuity of governmental policies for export-led growth.
Mr. Gohar Ejaz said that APTMA will never support any policy which goes against the interest of cotton farmers. He explained that APTMA is committed to give international prices to the cotton farmers, and this year cotton farmers will get Rs.600 Billion as against Rs.200 Billion paid to them in the last year resulting in additional payment of Rs.400 Billion to poor farmers.
He emphasized that cotton yarn is sufficiently available in the country for consumption in the value-added sector for export purposes which is evident from the fact that cotton yarn export has declined by 25% in quantitative terms from 0.522 million tons in 2018 to 0.390 million tons during 2021 and 26% in value terms.
He further pointed out that exports of cotton yarn in FY21 have decreased by 5% in quantitative terms as compared to FY20. He rejected the idea of imposing any Regulatory Duty on export of yarn and asked the government to avoid distancing from the free market economy factors.
Gohar demanded that instead of considering any idea to impose RD on cotton yarn export, there is an urgent need to ensure the supply of basic raw materials (cotton and MMF) at competitive rates.
Gohar said that domestic production of cotton yarn is about 3.5 million tons and 90% of this production is used for value-added sector while only 10% is being exported.
Gohar further stated that due to the plunge in export of cotton yarn, higher quantity of yarn was available in the country for the consumption by value added sector which is evident from exports figures. The exports of the value-added sector have shown remarkable growth during FY21, registering 32% in the towel, 19% in garments, 37% in knitwear, and 29% in bed wear exports.
Gohar added that textile exports have increased by 23% in FY21 while registering 29% growth in the first 2 months of the current fiscal year. In August 2021, textile exports have registered a growth of 45% over the same period last year.
He announced that the textile industry is going to invest US$5 billion by adding 100 new textile plants which will provide 500,000 new jobs and increase textile export by US$5 billion this year.
Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir, addressing on the occasion, thanked Gohar Ejaz, Patron in Chief and all members of APTMA for their unflinching support. He vowed to put his best for the restoration, viability and competitiveness of the industry and upsurging of textile exports.
He urged the need for a long term energy tariff of electricity @ 9C/KWH and gas @ $6.5/MMBTU, extension of LTFF to indirect exporters and building infrastructure, enhancement of duty drawback rates for textile products, payment of outstanding DLTL, reduction in custom duty and para tariff on import of Polyester Staple Fibre, formal approval and implementation of the Textile Policy and lowering the rate of sales tax on the whole textile chain.
Mr. Abdul Rahim Nasir discussed in details the energy issues faced by the industry. He expressed the fear that with the advent of winter, supply of gas is fraught with risks of suspension and low pressure.
He urged the government to direct the utility companies of gas and electricity to continue providing energy to the export sector without any breaks. He also urged DISCOs and gas companies to accelerate the pace of sanction of extension of load and removing all irritants in the supply of energy as per requirement of the industry.
Mr. Adil Bashir, outgoing Chairman APTMA highlighted the efforts made during 2020-21. He said that it was a challenging year both for the Government and the industry due to the successive waves of a global pandemic of Covid-19 which plunged the global economy and created repeated uncertainties in the supply chains and consumer demands.
He said that waiver from lock down granted to export oriented industry enabled the textile industry to operate at its full capacity to regain export markets at a fast pace.
He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood and the whole government machinery for their support to revive the industry and uplift exports.
Mr. Hamid Zaman, newly elected chairman of Northern Zone also spoke on the occasion and thanked APTMA members for reposing their trust in him by electing him as the Zonal Chairman.— PRESS RELEASE